Every year I promise myself to pay a yard service for spring clean-up. But when I can actually get out working in the yard, it all seems doable. Then about mid May or so, I realize that it would be money well spent and I would then just have to maintain the beds rather than muck them all out. By that time, I assume paying someone to clean up would be prohibitive due to the rampant growth. Right now, the herbs are totally out of control, as are most of the flower beds. I keep picking away at them all, but the jungle is definitely winning. Gary's shoulder is still bothering him so I'm doing all the weed wacking and I'm only good for short bursts.
Last fall I mulched most of the beds with shredded leaves, which was quite helpful. Rather than digging them in or raking them off, this year I just weeded around them, which is working well especially on beds I mulched thickly. Getting the leaves during our rainy fall can be problematic though. I may try to snag some leaves from Dick this fall, I especially like maple leaves for a bit of color. I do know Dick uses a lot of chemicals on the lawns he maintains, but my guess is the leaves would not pick up too much, especially if he is raking or blowing them often. I'm also guessing people who favor putting green lawns likely don't want leaves laying around for very long. Maybe I can just run the pickup down to his place and have him call me when it is full.
We are mowing more often than weekly, I've been trying to note it in my Outlook calendar. The front field is getting ready to head out, and we just got the tractor back so that should get mown soon. That was a bit spendy - $2,500 - but everything is fixed and working well.
We also hired a crew to work on the road out back. They came Friday and dropped off a medium sized excavator and are running one dump truck. Imagine our surprise to find the operator is Rodger Binkley, who Gary worked with years ago at Taylor's Excavators. He's put on quite a bit of weight and wrecked his foot to the point he uses a cane, but is the same ol' Rodg. He stayed for a couple beers after work and we had an enjoyable visit. They're putting down road fabric covered by a good 2' of some gravel mix that is packing down well. Amazingly, the swamp is nearly dry which makes their job much easier. I should probably go out today and pull up whatever trees and shrubs the Conservation people planted that will be in the way of the road. I think it's mostly willow whips, which should be easy to relocate.
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